“Everyone had a right to rest on Sunday and a duty to cultivate this heritage, “ said the Commission for Pastoral Activities among Workers in Malta. The statement said “that it was a common practice for workers to have a rest day and this right was protected by law… In Malta, this day was Sunday.
The Points Argued in Favor of Sunday Rest1. Stealing: “If six people worked seven days they would be doing the work seven workers did in six days, so six workers working on Sunday would be stealing another’s work.”
2. Economic Cost to Employers: Sunday work is “not beneficial to an employer because the seven days would be paid at a much higher right and tiredness reduced efficiency.”
3. Coping with Stress: “When one rested, one would be able to take a better look at the difficult schedule of work… Rest should be part of a worker’s style of life to reflect on life and get away from the stress of everyday life.”
4. State of Mind: Sunday rest would help workers to “get a better understanding of oneself and does not remain in a state of mind thinking that he has to be in control of everything.”
5. Productivity: “He would feel better and be better prepared for another week’s work.”
6. Family Time: “Sunday was a family day. It was time for the family to unite. But if the father was off on Monday and the mother on Wednesday, how could a family unite when Sunday was the children’s rest day?”
7. Social Bonding: “If Europe wanted to strengthen social bonds, it had to safeguard and protect Sunday.”
8. Preserve Heritage: “Sunday was dear to Europe and Malta and everyone had the duty to safeguard this heritage."
9. Economy: “…for the benefit of workers and the economy.”
10. Trade Unions Agree: “The International Labour Organisation (or the coalition of trade unions) said workers should have 24 consecutive hours of rest a week and when this was possible this should be given to all workers together.”
Sunday rest is considered by the commission to be a basic human right. “The commission warned that in today’s hurried life, the absolute importance of rest was being forgotten but the Church made it a point to always remind one of this right… Public authorities, it said, had a right to ensure that people were not denied this right.”
What did the Commission say should be done on Sundays? “Sundays, it said, should be blessed with charitable work and with dedication to family and others, especially the elderly and the sick. Sunday was also good for reflection, study and meditation and for thinking about others who had the same needs and duties but who, because of poverty and misery could not rest.”
In spite of the secular arguments in favor of Sunday worship, the commission admitted that Sunday rest has a religious purpose. “Christians should insist that Sundays and holy days should be legal holidays and be an example to all through their prayers and happiness on these days. They should defend their traditions as a precious contribution to the spiritual life of society… But every Christian should avoid of making others work on Sundays, depriving them of the opportunity to observe Sunday as the day of the Lord… Christians should agree with their employer that if they had to carry out indispensable work on Sundays, they would still get time to rest, including to carry out one’s religious duties.” Keep the Faith